Cross-validation of a model of intrinsic motivation with students enrolled in high school elective courses

Emilio Ferrer-Caja, Maureen R. Weiss

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35 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to cross-validate a model of relationships among social-contextual factors, individual differences, and intrinsic motivation in adolescent students enrolled in required courses (E. Ferrer-Caja & M. R. Weiss, 2000) with an independent sample of students taking elective courses. Female and male high school students (N = 219) completed measures of motivational climate, teaching style, perceived competence, self-determination, goal orientation, and intrinsic motivation. Motivated behavior was assessed by teachers who rated the students on effort and persistence in class activities. First, the authors used structural equation modeling to examine model invariance between the original and the new samples, which yielded a lack of equivalence. Next, the authors examined several alternative theory-based models using the elective sample. The results indicated that the data were best represented by a model that separated social-contextual factors, individual factors, intrinsic motivation, and motivated behaviors. The strongest predictors of intrinsic motivation were task-goal orientation and perceived competence. These results are discussed from both theoretical and methodological perspectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-65
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Experimental Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Intrinsic motivation
  • Invariance testing
  • Motivational climate
  • Structural equation modeling


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